BAJAUR AGENCY As many as 27 militants including three foreigners were killed and eight others got injured in a US drone attack here at Damadola area on Saturday.
Sources within political administration of Bajaur Agency informed that a US unmanned aircraft targeted a militants hideout at around at Damadola area of Mamond tehsil. The deceased included a relative of TTP Deputy Chief Maulana Faqir Mohammad. It has also been reported that Maulana Faqir left the house just 10 minutes before the strike.
Two underground bunkers were targeted in the attack wherein several adjacent houses were also damaged. It was the fourth such type of attack on Bajaur Agency and the number of casualties is expected to increase.
Agencies add: Several people are now known to have been killed in the drone attack and the toll is likely to rise, a tribal administration official told AFP.
A security official said that a house was targeted in Damadola village, saying all the dead were militants.
Another security official said that a tunnel linked to a bunker in the house of a relative of local Tehreek-e-Taliban chief Maulvi Faqir Mohammad was targeted.
Some relatives of Maulana Faqir are among the dead and eight others were injured in the strike, he said, adding that three foreign militants were killed. The drone is reported to have fired only one missile. The missile hit home of Maulvi Faqir, Abdul Malik, an official in the region, told Reuters by telephone.
The area has been cordoned off by local militants. Nobody is being allowed to go near the place. It is difficult to say anything about the death toll but we presume that all those present there have been killed, the official on condition of anonymity said.
Political administration of the Bajaur tribal region has confirmed the US drone strike but said they could not give any casualty figure since the area was under the militants control. This is the fourth missile strike by American drones on Damadola. Eighteen people, including 14 members of one family, were killed when a residential compound was hit on Jan 13, 2006, in Damadola.
It was hit again by a pilotless Predator on Oct 30, 2006, killing 82 people, many children among them. At least 12 people were killed in a Hellfire missile strike on Damadola on May 14, 2008.